Medical entomology: changes in the spectrum of mosquito-borne disease in Australia and other vector threats and risks, 1972–2004


  • Richard C Russell,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medical Entomology, ICPMR, University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.
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  • Brian H Kay

    1. Australian Centre for International and Tropical Health and Nutrition, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Brisbane Hospital, Qld 4029, Australia.
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Abstract  Our paper presents an assessment of research and operational development in relation to medically important mosquito-borne disease, mainly the arboviruses Ross River, Barmah Forest, Murray Valley encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, Kunjin and dengue, but also with respect to malaria. Since 1972, there have been considerable gains in research output, organisational structure, communication, surveillance including quarantine inspection and operational control. This has been due to the 1974 epidemic of Murray Valley encephalitis virus extending into temperate Australia, increasing occurrence of Ross River and the dengue viruses, the discovery of Barmah Forest virus as a disease entity in 1988, and the introduction of Japanese encephalitis in 1995. Because many of the outputs involve methodologies of global import, this has resulted in an unprecedented upsurge in publications of international standard.